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Literature: Find Articles

Print Journals

Browse the NMC Print Journal collection. Journals can be checked out for 1 week. Here are titles specific to literature:

  • American Literature
  • Dunes Review (Current 5 years)
  • Journal of Modern Literature
  • Poetry

(see Osterlin Library Journal List for all available journal titles, including those accessed via article databases)

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly and Popular articles: Do you know the difference? Most college work requires scholarly publications, materials written by content specialists, often containing research.

This YouTube video created by Cornell University outlines how to distinguish between the two types of materials.

Popular articles are found in magazines and newspapers. Time and People are good examples. Articles in these publications are written by journalists and are intended for general readers.

Scholarly articles are found mostly in journals. Titles like the Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Dentistry for Children are examples. Articles in these publications are written by experts, people with degrees in the field of study. Often these journals are peer-reviewed, meaning a group of content specialists in the field (peers) reviewed the articles prior to publication to verify the authenticity of the work.

There is one more category of magazines/journals sometimes referred to as commentary sources. These are materials written by academics and scholars, but are not research based. Examples include Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, and Commonwealth. Here you'll find commentaries on issues of the day. Consult these sources when you want intelligent analysis, but not necessarily research on a topic.

Make sure you know what your assignment requires.

Recommended Databases for Literary Research

          Communications and Mass Media Collection

  • A custom collection of more than 250 journals focused on all aspects of the communications field: key subjects covered include advertising and public relations, linguistics, and literature. Literature is not the focus of this database, but it remains a valuable source, especially for contemporary literature research.
  • EBSCOhost Academic Search Elite »
    Academic Search Elite provides full text for more than 1,850 publications, including nearly 1,300 peer-reviewed journals. Good source for literary criticism, both contemporary and historic.

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library »
    This database contains reference sources and includes the full text of the reference book series History Through Literature - 1820-1870 and 1870-1920, which takes a "new historicist" approach to literary criticism.

  • Infotrac General Reference Center Gold »
    A general interest database with full-text articles from 1980 to the present. Helpful for current research. 

  • JSTOR »
    A searchable full-text archive of scholarly journals, including eleven in the area of literature. This is one of our databases that indexes journals back to the 1800's, extending further than the average range of most online indexes of 20 years.

  Google Scholar

Google Scholar contains books, articles and other academic documents. Use Google Scholar as a supplement to the resources available through Osterlin Library.  Many items are full-text in Google Scholar, but not all!  When you locate an item in Google Scholar not available in full-text, consult these sources to determine if it is available through Osterlin:

1-iLink (Library Catalog) for books and documents

2-Osterlin Library Journal List for journal and magazine articles

If the item you want is not available through Osterlin it can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan, a lending service among libraries.

Google Scholar Search

Possible Search Terms for Databases

Listed are some possible keywords for a literary criticism search.



Literary Criticism



English Literature

American Literature

Women's Literature

Literature -- time period

Literature --"specific genre" (ex: Postmodern)

Michigan AND Literature

Authors's Name

Title of work

Literature AND keyword/theme

Title of work/author AND keyword/theme